With the outcome of this year’s election, there also comes the results of the state questions.
One debated question within faculty is SQ 779, which was defeated but would have increased the sales tax to raise teacher salaries and fund education. Though many agreed with the intent of the state question, it also was recognized that the tax would be regressive, and was thus deemed unacceptable by many.
“I can see both sides of the issue, because I understand the plight of teachers,” said Elizabeth Willner, director of teacher education. “However, even though it was billed as a promotion of teacher pay, not all of the money would have been going toward that purpose.”
Another relevant ballot item for college students was SQ 780, the question redefining certain offenses as misdemeanors rather than felonies. Passed by voters, the question would lower the consequences of offenses such as property crimes and drug possession so as to reduce jail overcrowding.
“Obviously marijuana wasn’t legalized, and it still is not allowed on campus,” said Matthew Hester, film production senior. “But the fact that we’ve taken something that so many people do and that is so prevalent, and we’ve decided to punish it less, I think that’s a massive step.”
SQ 776, a measure that legalized any execution method not prohibited by the Constitution, also passed.
“It’s frightening. We’re ready to turn back to barbarism,” said Abigail Keegan, English professor. “We’d be willing to just shoot people down if whatever method we use doesn’t work to our satisfaction, and it’s disgusting.”
A controversial item was SQ 790, the proposal of allowing public funds to spent on religious purposes. The purpose of the question was to prevent Article 2 of the Constitution as a reason not to fund religion-founded institutions, such as orphanages or hospitals. The question was rejected by voters.
“Article 2 was being used as a way of holding money from organizations that needed it and would benefit society,” said Callie Dewees, acting sophomore. “I think the state question was phrased and exemplified in a way that was very misleading to its actual purpose.”